Chris Pratt saying he's too afraid to ask what an economist is

Economists work with numbers to understand the world and to propose policy to improve it.

Janet Yellen explaining that she became an economist to deal with the effects of unemployment

Becoming an economist can be very rewarding, but it is a long journey and takes specific skills to succeed.

But What Does An Economist Really Do?

Economists study the relationship between a society's resources and its output at the local, national, or even global scale.

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Day to day:

  • Collect data and conduct surveys.

  • Choose an appropriate mathematical method to investigate a relationship between societal measures.

  • Analyze social, political, and economics trends.

  • Present scientific reports.

  • Advise political leaders and policy makers.

  • Teach students and/or community members economic principles.

  • Review the latest economic studies and data.

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Quiz

What question might an economist work to solve?

Where Is There? And How Do I Get There?

Economists typically work for universities, governments, large corporations, and policy think tanks.

Graduation cap and diploma Most economists have a Masters degree or Ph.D. and have studied advanced mathematics, statistics, history, public policy, and other subjects.

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Is This Career For Me?

Economists are...

  • Investigative: working with ideas and uncovering facts to solve problems

  • Conventional: following set routines and objective tasks like data input

  • Enterprising: designing and carrying out long term projects with a team

Skills needed...

  • Mathematical: calculating with algebra, calculus, and statistics

  • Analytical: evaluating cause and effect and complexity

  • Scientific: developing a hypothesis and designing measures to test a theory

A cat using a laptop

This Isn't The Career For You if...

  • You have no desire to be sitting in an office all day.

  • You want to be in a person-facing role engaging with different people.

  • You don't enjoy working with numbers.

    A man trying to work out complex equations by counting with his fingers

It's All About That $$$$

In the U.S. the typical annual salary is $91,873 USD.

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In Canada the typical annual salary is $69,025 CAD.

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Take Action

Does being an economist sound interesting? Take these next steps to learn more.

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This Byte has been authored by

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Sam Schmoker

International Educator | Academic Advisor